WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Republican gubernatorial nominee and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino labeled Andrew Cuomo "the most corrupt governor in history" on Wednesday and called for an expedited investigation in light of a New York Times investigation report that revealed Cuomo staffers interfered with the Moreland Ethics Commission.
The three-month Times investigation revealed aides to Cuomo compromised the efforts of the commission created by Cuomo to root out government corruption.
The commission culled a list of officials who were taking advantage of the system, but Cuomo's camp objected whenever a person or entity would come up that had ties to the governor, The Times reported.
"This is obviously very serious," Astorino said in a phone conference with the media from Aspen, Colo., where he is attending the Republican Governors' Association (RGA) Executive Roundtable meeting. "It will likely end up resulting in indictments and criminal charges."
The charges, he said, would be vast, but obstruction of justice would be one of the first.
Cuomo ultimately disbanded the Moreland Commission well before its planned 18-month lifespan, but now has federal prosecutors looking into what the commission found, The Times said.
If Cuomo is found guilty of interfering by federal prosecutors, Astorino said he would call for the governor's resignation.
"If he broke the law, and it appears he may have, he shouldn't remain in office," he said. "The process has to play out in the legal system, but it is incumbent on federal prosecutors to expedite this so everyone can get an answer before the election."
Cuomo is still leading by a wide margin in polls of NY voters. However, Astorino believes the numbers may also reflect corruption.
"(Cuomo) is the most corrupt governor in history. His lead in the polls is dirty and corrupt. It's based on a big lie," he said.
Astorino said he personally believes Cuomo was fully aware that his top aide Larry Schwartz actively interfered with subpoenas and investigations.
The county executive also called on Cuomo to immediately hold a press conference on the issue.
Astorino said he hopes to chat with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in Aspen.
After Christie described Astorino's gubernatorial campaign as a "lost cause," Astorino said Christie should resign as head of the RGA.
"Gov. Christie and I are friends," he said. "But I reiterate what I said. His job is to help Republican governors get reelected and Republican candidates get elected. It would be very convenient for him to come across the river."
Astorino had also previously suggested Cuomo and Christie were working together to protect themselves against fallout from Bridge-gate.
When asked if he believed Cuomo may have played a larger role in the scandal, he said, "It's no secret the Port Authority is represented by the governors of both states and their respective staffs."
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